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Sir Alfred J. Munnings, 1878–1959

On the Downs [1933, Royal Academy of Arts, London, exhibition catalogue]

Former Title(s):

Epsom Downs

Oil on canvas
30 x 36 1/4 inches (76.2 x 92.1 cm)

Signed, lower left: "A J Munnings"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
© Estate of Sir Alfred Munnings
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
animals | conversation piece | costume | dogs (animals) | genre subject | horse (animal) | landscape | lawn | leisure | sporting art | summer
Associated Places:
England | Epsom | Europe | Surrey | United Kingdom
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

A naturally gifted painter, the young Alfred Munnings joined the circle of artists in Newlyn, Cornwall, shortly before the First World War. The Newlyn community emulated the Barbizon painters in France by working outdoors and pursuing a more realist approach to painting, taking the stark realities of coastal life for their subjects. Munnings, a horse lover, particularly associated himself with the Romani people who eked out a living breeding and trading horses. After the war, Munnings began taking commissions for equestrian portraits in the tradition of George Stubbs, but his favorite work remained subject pictures exploring rural life. This example focuses on the Romani who traveled to the Epsom Downs in Surrey in the first week of June to seek work during Derby Week and to watch the Derby itself, the world’s greatest flat race.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

Edwardian Opulence (Yale Center for British Art, 2013-02-28 - 2013-06-02) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Revisiting Traditions [BAC 20th century painting & sculpture] (Yale Center for British Art, 2002-04-30 - 2005-05-18) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

The Paul Mellon Bequest : Treasures of a Lifetime (Yale Center for British Art, 2001-02-17 - 2001-04-29) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Paul Mellon's Legacy : a passion for British art [large print labels], , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, v. 1, N5220 M552 P381 2007 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Angus Trumble, Edwardian opulence, British art at the dawn of the twentieth century , Yale University Press, New Haven, 2013, pp. 366, 367, cat.no. 103, N6768 .E39 2013 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Malcolm Warner, The Paul Mellon Bequest : treasures of a lifetime, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2001, p. 43, N5247 M385 P28 2001 (YCBA) [YCBA]

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